When Spam Does Pay


A can of Spam

A can of Spam

I’m sure by now we’ve all seen the emails in your inbox or left as comments on your blog.  Every once in a while, folks wonder if spamming pays.  I don’t know about you but I always delete the garbage.  Every once in a while, I’ll send off a complaint email if I know it’ll get a result.

Well wonder no more.  Looks like Citibank has proven once and for all that it does. 37-year-old Nigerian scammer Paul Gabriel Amos convinced Citibank officials to wire him $27 million belonging to Ethiopia.  While the FBI arrested Amos when he tried to visit Los Angeles, there’s no mention of where the money is.

I have to wonder, as noted in the some of the comments within that article, if some of the bailout money give to Citibank was included within that amount.

Do You Have Your Converter Box Yet?


I was reading this article on the WSOC website about the pending change from analog television signal to a digital one starting on February 17th, 2009.  That’s only a couple of months away.  After that date, local television states will only broadcast a digital signal.  At least that’s what’s planned for here in the United States.

The cool thing is that the government is printing up these coupons where you can basically get a converter box for a small amount of money.  Neat, right?  Never mind that they’re spending tax money to support businesses and all that.

Here’s the problem.  The change over occurs on February 17th, right?  As I read the article, the coupons won’t be going out until the converter boxes are in stores.  No problem with that but the boxes themselves aren’t due until “the end of February or first of March.

Anyone else concerned about the boxes not being available until after the change over occurs?

17 Ways to Save Money Running a Startup


One of the folks I follow is Chris Comella, one of the lead people over at buzzpal, a USA / Sweden-based social startup.  A long while ago, I bookmarked and saved this post on 17 Ways to Save Money Running a Startup.  It contains a list of different method to save cash when you’re struggling to get your company off the ground.  The list originally comes from over at Calacanis although a few places have copied it without giving proper credit. 🙁

I noted in a comment and I still think that one should allow some customization in what programs and methods employees use to get their work done.  I use Ultraedit, a feature rich text editor that I can do both php editing as well as regular text editing like the tutorials I’ve been writing. (Heck, I even paid for it.  I must like it.) To be “forced” or “encouraged” to use a different program I would think would mean a lag as you got used to the new program and maybe even a lag as you progressed due to your wishing you could use what you normally did. (I wish I could have said that better.) Sure, everybody has to be on the same page and be able to read and use each other’s work.  As long as you don’t try coding in MS Word, I would think you would be fine.

I hope they stock their fridges with Monster Drinks as well. 🙂

edit: Oops, I forgot to mention that the image is from buzzpal.  I think all startups should have a cool looking model in their company’s logo. 🙂

Sohmer Goes Shopping at the Apple Store and Buys Out the Store


Sohmer, the writer and creator behind Least I Could Do webcomic, ran into his local Apple Store looking for accessories for his MacBook Air and it developed into an article about customer service.  Most of the comments that follow, I don’t have a problem with except for this one where a manager goes on about how he encourages his own employees to provide the best customer service that they can.  My problem with that is I wonder how much credit that manager give his employees.  I know for experience that little benefit gets down to the employee who goes out of his or her way to provide that wonderful customer support as usually the levels above that manager is told folks back or the manager is trying to keep his own butt covered by reducing costs.

My response is here and, yes, when I worked for Kinko’s, they had their local pot dealer on speed dial.  It was pretty sad.

Picture from here.

Egg McMuffin Creator Dies At Age 89


Taken from here:

A Southern California McDonald’s official said Egg McMuffin inventor Herb Peterson has died in Santa Barbara at age 89.

Monte Fraker, vice president of operations for McDonald’s restaurants in Santa Barbara, said Peterson died peacefully at his home Tuesday.

Peterson came up with idea for the signature McDonald’s breakfast item in 1972.

He began his career with McDonald’s as vice president of the company’s advertising firm, D’Arcy Advertising, in Chicago.

He wrote McDonald’s first national advertising slogan, “Where Quality Starts Fresh Every Day,” and eventually became a franchisee.

Reading the Wikipedia entry for the McMuffin shows that McDonalds didn’t have much interest in the idea.  Back then, McDonalds only served lunch and dinner.  The article makes note that Mr. Peterson was actually reprimanded him for serving breakfast and threatened him with a number of penalties for going against his franchise agreement.

I’m sure a lot of folks are happy that they decided not to.  I know I am.

Dimes are the new Pennies


It’s the strangest thing but during my walks, I find more dimes than I do pennies now a days.  On my walk in this morning, I found 4 dimes but only a single penny.  A couple years back, I’d find pennies by the ton.  Now it’s like folks don’t care about dimes anymore, like they used to with pennies way back when.

Or do more folks have more holes in their pockets?